Taking Care of Animal Bites

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Animal bites are not exclusive occupational hazards for people who work in animal shelters or zoos. In fact, you can incur an animal bite when you accidentally tread on your pet dog’s tail or disturb your cat’s sleep. You can even get a bite from a stray raccoon if you stop by to help it from becoming total roadkill.

Animals can’t help it. Aside from their claws and speed, their teeth are also one of their most potent weapons for self-defense. Unwittingly putting an animal on the defensive is a sure way to receive a bite if you are not fast enough. But this does not mean that there is nothing you can do about animal bites. After prevention, preparedness is your best bet against untoward situations. One of the best things you can carry with you when you go out is a first aid kit. Here are some things you will need in your first aid kit that can assist you in case of animal bites:

Antiseptic. A bottle of alcohol can take the place of soap and water to clean the wound. For more convenience, you can even choose to pack alcohol swabs instead. Since alcohol is stronger than water, stinging is to be expected.

Antibiotic cream. Being outdoor creatures, cats, raccoons, and dogs carry a wide range of bacteria which they can pass on to humans through bites. An antibiotic cream will be useful in preventing the spread of infection in minor wounds. You can get some from an online pharmacy.

Bandages. Bites can sometimes go deep and bleed profusely. Bandages can help stop the bleeding and hold any medication that may have been applied to the wound.

Soap and bottled watter. If your first aid kit is big enough, you can tote along a small bar of antibacterial soap and bottled water to be used in washing wounds.If an animal bites you, the first thing you need to do is to keep a calm head. Hysterics and screaming never did help anyone and they cannot surely aid you in treating your wound. Assess and evaluate the wound and the extent of the damage ?then follow through with the recommended treatments. If the bite barely broke the skin and is superficial, treat it as you would a minor wound. Wash the wound with soap and water or cleanse it with an antiseptic swab immediately. Dry the wound gently then apply an antibiotic cream to prevent the spread of bacteria and a possible infection. Cover the bite with a clean bandage to avoid infection from insects that might land on it. In the case that the animal’s bite left puncture marks and the wound is deep with profuse bleeding, use the bandage to try to assuage the flow of blood. Get to a doctor immediately for medical treatment since the infection may have reached deeper to the muscles.

However, there are also cases where a bite can be infected. If you are unsure whether the wound is infected or not, examine it carefully for signs of infection. Symptoms to look out for include redness, swelling, and increased pain. If the wound is bleeding hard, wrap it in a bandage and go see a doctor immediately.

Rabies is also a risk and a lot of animals ?both domesticated and not ?have rabies and their bites can transfer the infection to humans. If you have been bitten by an animal of questionable immunization status, visit a doctor immediately to get vaccinated. Rabies can kill if let alone.If this is the case, get medical help as soon as possible.

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